Because varsity and work are completely different worlds, you can easily feel overwhelmed if you’re going from one to the other. Here are some changes you can expect, and how to navigate them.

The vibe

Work and varsity are worlds apart from each other in terms of how things are done. Professionalism isn’t really expected from you in varsity. You’re expected to do what you’re there for, like complete assignments and write tests and exams, the same way you’d be expected to do your job at work. But no one cares about what you’re wearing or whether you show up for class or not. While company cultures can differ depending on where you work and “professionalism” is defined differently in different industries, you’ll always be expected to show up, dress up and act professionally when you’re working.

The hours

3 one-hour lectures a day vs 8 hours of work? We know. The difference is quite drastic. Student life often gives you more time to be social and once you’re a professional, you might find yourself having less energy to go out and see your peeps. At work, you’re legally bound to adhere to your hours per your contract- even on days when you don’t feel like it. Learning to motivate yourself and be productive when you’re not feeling 100% is a difficult, but important part of being a young professional.

The bag

There’s no such thing as getting paid to go to varsity, unless you have a job on campus or a part-time internship. The working world comes with a guaranteed salary every single month on a specified date, while studying doesn’t. While getting paid is awesome, with great power comes great responsibility. Once you start earning an income, it’s vital for you to learn basic money management skills such as how to invest, set up an emergency fund and how taxes work. Let’s be honest- this isn’t much fun unless you’re a numbers kinda gal, but it’s vital if you want to grow your wealth over time and make your money work for you.

The extras

If you’re studying, you’re likely paying for things like textbooks, accommodation and tuition (to name a few) from the time you start, up until you graduate. While there’s none of that in the working world, you do develop responsibilities that your salary has to maintain such as travel costs, rent, living expenses, Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), pension fund, insurance and medical aid, etc. While you have more lifestyle freedom when you’re no longer a student, you may find that many of your choices (such as where you live, having a vehicle etc.) are influenced by the work you do.

These aren’t all the differences between varsity and work- there’s a lot more where these came from. But no matter what changes you face, be patient with yourself as you adjust. What differences did you experience when moving from student to work life? Share them on our socials- Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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